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How the F-35 Keeps Proving It’s the Best Fighter Jet On Earth

U.S. Air Force Maj. Kristin "BEO" Wolfe, F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team commander and pilot, performs an aerial demonstration during the 2021 Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona Air Show and Open House at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Nov. 5, 2021. The last air show and open house DM held showcasing U.S. military capabilities was in 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kaitlyn Ergish)

Second to None: F-35 Shows Off Power, Beauty at Thunder, and Lightning Over Arizona – For many aviation experts and enthusiasts, the famed F-35 fighter is considered to be the most lethal and versatile military aircraft of the modern era.

And is usually the case when it participates in an air show, this next-generation plane often takes center stage whenever it takes to the skies.

Case in point: the Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona held in early November. Daniel Patrascu at Auto Evolution notes that “as one of the largest air shows in the United States, the Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona draws some of the most spectacular aerial machines in the world over to the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, where they are allowed to make a spectacle of themselves for the delight of the crowds.”

“Over the years, the great names of the U.S. Air Force and other military branches have been present in the air there, but also carmakers, who’ve always had the opportunity to show off their best products on the ground. … And the best spectacle takes place in the sky, where machines fielded by the USAF Thunderbirds or the F-35 Demo Team, among others, show their prowess,” he continues.

Picture Perfect

Patrascu also pointed out that an amazing pic was taken by Senior Airman Kaitlyn Ergish at the air show, which can be seen above.

“It shows the perfectly sculpted silhouette of the F-35A Lightning II flown by the plane’s demo team commander, Maj. Kristin Wolfe, as the only spec of darkness in an otherwise perfectly blue sky,” he writes.

“We’ve seen this airplane-pilot duo several times before, performing all sorts if incredible stunts all across North America. This time, we’re getting a perfect view of the machine’s upper side, with everything perfectly visible and distinguishable, from the nose and canopy to the rear wings and afterburner,” he adds.

Europe Landing

Just last week, the aircraft again made headlines when the U.S. Air Force announced that the first F-35 fighters to be stationed in Europe finally landed at their new home in England at RAF Lakenheath.

According to defense writer Jennifer Svan at Stars and Stripes, the four planes—fresh off the Lockheed Martin production line in Fort Worth, Texas—were part of the initial delivery to the fighter base in Suffolk, per U.S. Air Forces in Europe–Air Forces Africa.

The squadron will eventually boast a total of twenty-four aircraft, which will be delivered to RAF Lakenheath in phases, according to USAFE-AFAFRICA officials. There will also be two F-35A squadrons.

It was also reported by that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is eyeing an even larger presence of F-35s on the continent. Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, who leads the U.S. European Command and is NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, confirmed that the coalition will continue to build up its F-35 fighter capability—perhaps with more than four hundred F-35s—in the coming decades.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Written By

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV.



  1. Droyd

    December 22, 2021 at 6:33 am

    Lmao! The single engine f-35 is the “best fighter on earth” eh? That’s interesting. You’re the only one in the camp. It’s all yours! The stupid things people say.

  2. Daniel Nelson

    December 22, 2021 at 10:28 am

    That must be why the Air Force is buying all new F-15’s to escort the F-35. The 15’s are to protect the 35 because the 35 sucks in aerial combat.

  3. Paul C. Robertson

    December 22, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    The Air Force in another published commentary, article, already threw the towel in on the F-35. Privately admitted this thing ain’t going anywhere. I used to wear myself out posting comments on how useless the F-35 was. When somebody post that article. Strangely believe it or not I actually came out for a way for, was it McDonald Douglas? To save face. The F-35 was bought from an Russian design right after communism fell. Believe it or not it’s a pretty good jet, if you don’t try to throw everything and the kitchen sink into it. And it was a reliable jet fighter for amphibious aircraft. Which are cheaper to produce. And require less maintenance. They could have just produced A reduced cost version of the F-35 without all that stealth,that while functional has been out so long it’s been largely compromised. If Lockheed Martin, yeah I think that’s it, made a redesign closer to the original it shouldn’t cost that much to do, and the end product would be more reliable, more practical, and and more deadly . If lives up to the specs of the original Russian fighter should be a pretty good jet. It would be cheaper to make. We can even make a newer F-22 that incorporates the F-35 seeing every direction technology. This would effectively reproduce the one-two combination of the F-15 and F-16 that seemed to work for us okay. The F-35 tried to do too much. Let’s bury it and give it a rebirth.

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